The Everyone’s Business campaign 1 has launched a new website and vibrant brand identity aimed at senior decision-makers in government and the NHS. The campaign is dedicated to ensuring that all women in the UK have access to specialist perinatal mental health care during pregnancy and postnatally.
One in ten women will be affected by a mental health condition either during pregnancy or within a year of giving birth, yet service provision remains patchy.
“Unfortunately, perinatal 2 mental healthcare has become a postcode lottery. This means that almost 50% of the UK has no specialist community perinatal mental health provision,” says Karim Ladak, Chief Operating Officer at Saffron Interactive. “This website has the power to collect resources in one place to campaign for a universal standard of care for all women.”
The website itself offers practical guidelines to improve standards of care. Providing tailored steps towards action for every user, the site has already rocketed to the top of Google search results for “Everyone’s Business.”
High-impact, colour-coded maps 3 developed by Saffron and Everyone’s Business demonstrate the shocking gaps in service provision for perinatal mental health. NHS Commissioners and MPs are encouraged to make the issue a priority and to “go for green” and put the funding in place to reach nationally agreed standards.
“Our business is built upon making people take action, and this project has been a wonderful opportunity to use technology to actively change attitudes and improve care for women affected, as well as their families”, says Noorie Sazen, Saffron’s CEO.
Perinatal mental health problems carry a total economic and social long-term cost to society of about £8.1 billion for each one-year cohort of births in the UK, according to a new report ‘The costs of perinatal mental health problems’ released today by the London School of Economics and Centre for Mental Health. 4
“This report shows there can be no more excuses: national and local authorities, commissioners and governments must act now to ensure specialist perinatal mental health services (in line with national guidelines) are available throughout the UK. Only then can we expect to fully reduce any tragically avoidable human and economic costs.” says Emily Slater, Everyone’s Business Campaign Manager.
1. The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) is a coalition of over sixty UK professional and patient led organisations committed to improving the mental health and wellbeing of women and their children in pregnancy and the first postnatal year. The MMHA’s Everyone’s Business Campaign is funded by Comic Relief and calls for:
- Accountability for perinatal mental health care to be clearly set at a national level and complied with.
- Community specialist perinatal mental health services meeting national quality standards are available for women in every area of the UK.
- Training in perinatal mental health is delivered to all professionals involved in the care of women during pregnancy and the first year after birth.
2. The terms perinatal and maternal are often used interchangeably. But to avoid any confusion, we use the term perinatal when describing the mental illnesses that this campaign focuses on. Peri is the Latin for ‘around’, and natal is the Latin for ‘birth’. So perinatal mental illness refers to mental illness during pregnancy and one year after birth.
3. Please click here to view the outcome of a recent mapping exercise to assess the levels of specialist community and inpatient perinatal mental health services across the UK from the #everyonesbusiness campaign.
4. The costs of perinatal mental health problems report is available online Monday 20th October 2014 www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/perinatal and www.lse.ac.uk/LSEHealthAndSocialCare/aboutUs/PSSRU/home.aspx
The report was produced by the London School of Economics and Centre for Mental Health for the Everyone’s Business campaign led by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance and funded by Comic Relief.